Currently, more than half of hotel reservations are made online, either through the computer or mobile devices. In fact, this year the search for hotels from the smartphone surpassed that of the computers. Taking this data into account, it seems clear that if digital marketing strategies are essential in any industry, much more so for the hotel industry. And both chains and independent hotels are aware of them. For this reason, although their advertising budgets are not large (they are around 4 or 5% of total revenue) they are increasingly leaning towards online channels, and today there are many who already dedicate half of their budget to this item (although it obviously depends on the hotels analyzed).
In any case, it is below the ideal expense, which would be around 75% of the marketing budget, as indicated in The Smart Hotelier’s Guide to 2016 Digital Marketing Budget Planning. Why so much? Because the hotel industry is totally dependent on word of mouth marketing, and online channels are the easiest way to distribute it. Positive reviews increase Turkey phone number list revenue and the number of reservations and, according to a TripAdvisor study, 77% of travelers use reviews and recommendations from the website before booking a hotel room. The online presence becomes essential, not only for informational or promotional purposes, but also as a tool for use by customers.
On the other hand, independent hotels probably need to invest more money in marketing strategies compared to those belonging to chains that are already known to most customers. In addition, they must be more aware of which channels they want to use, especially when new possibilities arise such as the creation of dynamic content, which can make them different from other hotels.
And what concrete actions should they be spending their digital marketing budget on? According to this guide, the ideal would be to dedicate 20% to SEM, 11% to dynamic rate marketing, another 11% to retargeting, 10% to multichannel initiatives, 8% to web optimization and 7% to SEO. Below would be other cheaper tools such as email marketing (3%), or social media (2%).
An article by 4hoteliers also reflects the result of a survey of hoteliers in which they were asked where they found the highest ROI from their marketing campaigns: 70% said it was on their online investments. Additionally, 3 out of 4 hoteliers manage their digital campaigns themselves, despite evidence showing that ROI increases when outsourcing to a marketing agency.
Betting on a greater customer experience and greater adoption of technology have been the priorities of the hotels during this year, and everything seems to indicate that they will continue to be in 2016. According to an infographic from Net Affinity, companies that are betting on personalization are increasing, especially through personalized experiences on the web.
But in addition, the mobile phone has ceased to be a trend to be a reality, and the full implementation of the mobile strategy is essential for any hotel. It is expected that this year the turnover of mobile reservations will touch 40 billion dollars, and that is why mobile payments have started to take off (solutions beyond paypal). Hotels need to expand their online presence in all phases of the purchase cycle, from trip planning to feedback when it is over, as well as increase their visibility on social media, refine their SEO strategy and bet on proximity technology.